Friday January 29, 2010

State Gives $250,000 to Aerospace Hub

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said new efforts to support Ohio's great centers of creativity and commerce will start in Dayton, already a world center of aerospace with roots that stretch back to the very creation of aviation.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland awarded $250,000 Friday, Jan. 29, to the state's first Ohio Hub of Innovation and Opportunity to seed development of the hub.

"The state's award for the aerospace hub takes our region's economic development efforts to the next level by allowing us to add a focus on attracting and growing tomorrow's entrepreneurs and innovators," said John Leland, director of the University of Dayton Research Institute. "This hub award is a testament to the state's confidence in the Research Institute and its partners to lead the way in developing this concept so that other Ohio municipalities seeking a hub designation may learn from our successes."

Strickland made the announcement at the University of Dayton Innovation Center.

“We are going to do more of what Ohio does best by supporting our great centers of creativity and commerce. And we will begin in Dayton, where we are blessed to have a world center for aerospace with roots that stretch back to the very creation of aviation," Strickland said. "Dayton and the region have crafted a clear strategy to be the aviation and aeronautics center of Ohio and the nation. It is a strategy drawing upon the assets of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; cutting-edge research at the University of Dayton and Wright State University; and a strong partnership with people across the region.“

In September, Strickland designated the Dayton region as home to the state's first hub of innovation — the Ohio Aerospace Hub of Innovation and Opportunity — with the University of Dayton as the lead partner organization. The aerospace hub designation acknowledged the region's long-standing status as a leader in aerospace and aviation and the University of Dayton Research Institute's success in aerospace-related research and technology-based economic development. Strickland also lauded last September the Dayton area's intellectual power, work force, research capabilities, business community and local leadership.

"This support will contribute to our efforts in harnessing the region's longstanding expertise in aerospace to enhance the Dayton region's vitality — and livability — so that we may create jobs," University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran said. "Through the Ohio Hubs of Innovation and Opportunity, we seek to create and maintain active channels for business transactions; share specialized infrastructure, labor markets, risk capital and services; take advantage of proximity to foster connections between and within industries; and bring new technologies and jobs into the marketplace."

Curran hopes the new technological innovations will lead to development and collection of new and growing companies; new employment opportunities for skilled and newly graduated workers; capital investment to create a new industrial base for the state and region; commercial opportunities for new products and product sales; and new opportunities for community development in the urban communities in which the hubs are placed.

Aerospace hub partners include the city of Dayton, Montgomery County, the Dayton Development Coalition and City Wide Development Corp., among others.

"Montgomery County is grateful to Gov. Strickland for his commitment to the Dayton region with the designation of the Ohio Hub of Innovation and Opportunity for aerospace technology," said Montgomery County Commission President Dan Foley. "This builds upon our strengths in sensor technologies, advanced materials and the obvious asset of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The Hub reinforces the Dayton region as a global leader in aerospace technology."

OHIO Hubs, part of the Ohio Department of Development's strategic plan for economic development, are designed to leverage Ohio's regional assets and drive long-term economic growth in the state. Within OHIO Hubs, the state will offer resources to improve physical space and foster new business investment, including entrepreneurial and productivity assistance, capital access and technology development.

The University is second in the nation among all colleges and universities for materials research, which is a major component in today's aviation research. It leads the state-funded Wright Center of Innovation and the Institute for the Development and Commercialization of Advanced Sensors Technologies (IDCAST), which has reported the creation of more than 256 high-tech, high-wage jobs since its inception two years ago. The University is also home to the Ladar and Optical Communications Institute that, like IDCAST, works with industry on technology for aerospace applications as well.

The University of Dayton is a top-tier national research university and among the nation's top 10 Catholic universities.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or